Gone But Not Forgotten. On this day, four years ago, Comedy Legend Harold Ramis passed away at age of 69

Don’t cross the steams.

It is hard to imagine that it has been four years since the comedy legend Harold Ramis passed away. Four years seem like an eternity to me. And today, I thought it would be the right time to commemorate such a giant and to pay him a tribute. Hollywood really lost a gem.

Harlod Ramis accompanied by his daughter Violet Ramis during the shooting of Ghostbusters.

Harold Ramis, for those, who don’t know him, was an actor, writer and director of many comedy movies in the 70s, 80s and 2000s. To me, he is best known for playing the role of Egon Spengler is the successful Ghostbusters franchise. However, Ramis’s filmography is a huge encyclopedia. But before coming to prominence in the 80s with Ghostbusters, co-written back then with his long time collaborator Dan Ackroyd, Harold Ramis wrote National Lampoon’s Animal House. Next up, he crossed the path with Bill Murray and together starred in Meatballs.The movie was a commercial success and became the first of six film collaborations between Murray and Ramis.

His third film and his directorial debut was Caddyshack, which he wrote with Kenney and Brian Doyle-Murray. It starred Chevy ChaseRodney DangerfieldTed Knight, and Bill Murray. Like Ramis’s previous two films, Caddyshack was a commercial success.

As I mentioned above, Ramis collaborated with Dan Ackroyd in what would become the biggest hit ever of summer 1984. Ghostbusters became a sensational hit that would spawn a sequel five years later,  cartoons and many related merchandises.

Illness and death

In May 2010, Ramis contracted an infection that resulted in complications from autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis and lost the ability to walk. After relearning to walk he suffered a relapse of the disease in late 2011.

He died of complications of the disease on February 24, 2014 at his home on Chicago’s North Shore at age of 69 He is buried at Shalom Memorial Park in Arlington Heights.

Here is a statement I released four years ago today on Facebook upon hearing Ramis’s death :

Tonight, I deeply saddened by a news that came down like a sledgehammer. The actor Harold Ramis passed away. He marked my childhood forever as I first saw him in Ghostbusters at age of 7. (c. 1992) I loved his character of Igon Spengler. That intelectual techno wizard from the movie, sidekicking Second City alums Dan Ackroyd and Bill Murray in one of the most successful movie of 1984. What’s left now ? An icredible imprint of comedy, influencing générations. Yes, Ed Neumeier, he will be deeply missed. May his spirit be a source of joy and happiness forever.

Don’t cross the steams. You are deeply missed Egon!


40 years later, Jamie Lee Curtis to return for Halloween H40

She is a household name in the horror movies. Nicknamed The Scream Queen, Jamie Lee Curtis will return one last time for Halloween to commemorate the 40th anniversary for the release original John Carpenter’s horror classic, as the actress would appear for the upcoming entry of the franchise, set for October 19, 2018.

The actress confirmed it in her twitter account.

Starred with Donald Pleasence in the cult 1978’s Halloween, Jamie Lee Curtis was propelled to the stardom when she played the role of the young babysitter stalked by a knife-wielding killer Michael Myers. Since then, she returned to the franchise four times for sequels, most recently for 2002’s Halloween: Resurrection. 


Fans are likely scratching their heads at this revelation, since Curtis’ character was unceremoniously killed off in Halloween: Resurrection in 2002, but in true Halloween franchise fashion it would appear that the film will be ignoring the continuity of many of the sequels in favor of telling its own story. Curtis has previously appeared in four films in the series, including the 1978 original, its 1981 sequel, 1998’s Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, and Resurrection.

No plot detail about the next entry of Halloween  is floating around the net, I will keep you posted as soon as something would show up.

Mark you calendar, Halloween 2018, (a.k.a Halloween H40), is slated for Oct 19, 2018.


Timecrimes (2007) Objectification and Sexism. How Women are Treated in Timecrimes (Part 4)

Timecrimes, released almost a decade ago, is written and directed by the Spanish director (and actor) Nacho Vigalondo. The first time I was it back in 2009, I was completed intrigued by the storyline, a creepy tale about time paradox, presented in the most simplistic, yet more complex plot.  Forget about CGI like in Terminator or the Flying the Delorean in Back to The Future. Timecrimes is truly a masterpiece in its own right.

The Sleeping Beauty

In the previous articles I wrote, I covered the plot, the free-will within the limit of perception and the time-paradox. However, there is an interesting theme, I’d like to cover here. It’s all about voyeurism and sexism, and how the women, the bicycle lady and Clara are treated in Timecrimes.

There is a strong sense of objectification  early in the movie, when Hector 1 sees The Girl standing out in the woods, biting her thumb, apparently thinking about something. Continuing to watch her, he sees her pull off her shirt, exposing her breasts.

At this time, Clara is there next to him, trying to talk to him about whether or not he wants chicken for dinner. He basically ignores her, as he’s too busy watching The Girl. He doesn’t mention to Clara what he’s looking at, even when The Girl starts undressing, and continues watching her. Eventually, she leaves to go into town, clearly annoyed.

Being a pervert, Hector-1 goes for a walk to try to get a closer look at The Girl. He follows a trail of clothing into the woods, until he finds her naked and unconscious. Hector-1 eyes her naked body for a while, the camera along with him, before he tries to wake her up. He then approaches her, apparently to see if she’s alright (at least I hope), but up until this point he’s just been a pervert.

Later, when he time travels and becomes Hector-2, the lab worker sits him down to explain just what the freak’s going on. Hector-2 seems concerned about the other man in his house with his wife, though he eventually catches on about the time travel. The lab worker describes Hector-1 as like a reflection in the mirror, essentially the same as Hector-2, and that Hector-2 has to conform to the way things went when he was Hector-1 or else Hector-1 will never go back in time and become Hector-2. However, the explanation is worded in a way to emphasize the fact that if Hector-2 doesn’t do this, then he’ll be cuckolded by Hector-1. This is a small aspect of the movie, but the disrespectful treatment of the female characters adds up.

Hector-2 at first doesn’t listen and tries to make contact with Hector-1. Partway to his house, his car is struck (by Hector-3) and he crashes. The Girl, traveling along the road on a bicycle, comes to help. Realizing he needs her to be in the forest to draw Hector-1, he repays her kindness by basically sexually assaulting her. He threatens her with a sharp instrument and forces her into the woods, where he makes her undress for what amounts to his own (Hector-1’s) sexual satisfaction. Yes, this is to keep the timeline intact, but why does it even exist? She attacks him, and he knocks her unconscious, going on to stripping her for Hector-1 to find.

Then at the end, we have the conflict with The Girl and Clara. Clara is not treated as a person in her own right. She’s just an item Hector-2/Hector-3 wants to keep safe whereas the Girl is just a disposable item.  Hector feels a great attachment to his wife and wants her to live for his sake rather than the respect for human life. The Girl has always been objectified, from the first time Hector(-1) saw her, to Hector-2’s coercion of her to attract Hector-1, and she ends objectified when Hector-3 kills her to save Clara. When it’s all over, Hector-3 doesn’t explain to Clara what’s going on. He just brings her out to the yard and makes her sit in the lawn chair next to him while the police come.


I think the ending is supposed to be twisted and give viewers an uncomfortable feeling as they watch it. Yes, Hector has fixed the timeline to his liking, but he’s done something evil to do so. The character itself is written to be immoral, so I’m not sure how much blame can be put on Vigalondo for producing sexist content. However, the whole series of instances Hector encounters and must reproduce involve this objectification and sexual assault for no reason other than it suiting Vigalondo’s purposes.

In conclusion, this twisted-up strange loop time travel story, though amusing, contains noticeable elements of sexism. Women characters are constantly disrespected. Though the protagonist is himself depicted as immoral, the existence of certain events within the strange loop (having no detectable cause but themselves) indicate sexism of the narrative rather than thematic depiction of it. So: enjoyable movie, but problematic content.

The final part coming up soon.


Timecrimes (2007): It’s all about a time paradox (Part 3)

Continuing with Part III of my multi-part article about Timecrimes.

In Timecrimes, Hector is caught in a what appears to be an infinite time loop with no apparent beginning or end, which is consistent with a predestination time paradox, but does beg the question how the paradox may have originated in the first place. One solution to the problem could involve a scenario in which an original attacker (not Hector) knew about the girl’s bicycle route and so lay in wait for her by the path to the woods, before assaulting and forcing her into the woods, where she is made to undress, then rendered unconscious.


Spying the girl from his garden, Hector subsequently becomes interested after she removes her shirt, and unaware of the rapist wanders towards her and blunders into the scene. On hearing Hector’s approach, the rapist then hides before attempting to stab Hector, but only succeeds in slashing his arm, instead. The attacker now chases a fleeing Hector to kill him, and a desperate Hector is given all the motivation he needs to scale a barbed wire fence, and break into the science compound. The attacker then leaves Hector briefly to return and dispose of the girl’s body, before going back for Hector.

On explaining his horrific story to the scientist and seeing the attacker approaching once more, the scientist may have tried to hide Hector in the time tank before later hiding somewhere else himself. Importantly, the scientist only activated the untested time machine less than two hours ago and so does not know if it works. He may have subsequently decided to risk Hector’s life by sending him back in time, knowing if the attacker does kill them the timeline will be restored to an hour earlier with the arrival of Hector 2. As to what happens to the attacker in the movie, well one can speculate that Hector 2 forcing the girl into the woods takes the opportunity away from the rapist who has now missed his chance and is frightened off by Hector 2’s presence.

Hector 3 attempts to prevent the bandaged Hector 2 from getting into the time tank, in order to stop Hector 2 accidentally killing his wife. At the end of the movie when Hector 3 realizes that Hector 2 didn’t accidentally kill his wife, but instead the young girl from earlier, Hector 3 locks his wife in the shed and allows Hector 2 to frighten the girl into falling to her death, knowing full well that Hector 2 would then try to prevent his wife’s apparent accident by driving off in the rain to scare Hector 1 into the time tank before also traveling back in time to become Hector 3 and “save” his wife.

A self-sustaining stable timeline is thus created in which the two anomalies have now resolved themselves into a self-correcting loop, and history for Hector 3 is allowed to continue, while nothing significant affecting Hector’s going back in time in the first place is altered

To be continued


Timecrimes (2007) : Free Will within the Limit of Perception (Part 2)

Continuing with Part II from my multi-part article about Timecrimes.

In Timecrimes, Hector 2 was jealous about Hector 1 being with his (Hector 2’s) wife. Ignoring the scientists’ warning  not venture in the forest in an attempt to deal with the original Hector (Hector 1) , Hector 2 decides to reproduce the earlier events in an attempt to draw Hector 1 off his house into the forest.


Hector 2 has just thrown himself into a trap of a crooked time-loop in which he believes he witnesses the murder of the girl before inadvertently becoming the murderer himself.

During a certain point in the movie, the girl is seen naked and unconscious. Then she is seen alive and well, guiding the battered Hector 3 back to his home. Then she is dead thrown off the ledge of the house.

One might ask, wasn’t she lying naked amid the bushes ?

The young woman has a picture of Schrödinger’s Cat on her shirt, which is a reference to the observer’s paradox first proposed by the Austrian scientist which states that an object or outcome of an event is not determined until being observed. A cat placed inside a box with a device which may or may not poison it is theoretically both dead and alive simultaneously until the box is opened and observed, forcing the object into just one of these possible states.


As Timecrimes writer Nacho Vigalondo explains about his movie:

The quantum mechanics aspect is the girl. We put an image of Schrödinger’s cat on the girl’s shirt – there’s a point in the movie where she’s dead and alive at the same time; it depends on what Hector sees, he defines whether she’s dead or alive. The theory of this film is that you only have free will within the limits of your perception. If you haven’t seen what happens inside a room, you can change what happens there, but if you have seen inside the room, you cannot change anything.

What can we understand by that. As far as my understanding is concerned, that Hector 1 has seen the woman naked and possibly dead. The end-result, that he can’t do anything to change of the outcome. Hector 2 inadvertently kills a woman (wearing a pair of converse) by throwing her off the ledge of his house. Hector 2 believed that the dead woman was his wife) . However when Hector 3 had the accident with the red-van, he stumbled upon with the young woman (wasn’t she naked and unconscious), alive and well. So, the situation clearly fits the Schrödinger’s cat’s experiment whereby the outcome of an event all depends on how the observer sees.

To be continued in Part III



Timecrimes (2007): A Trip to The Past From The Present to…(Part 1)

This is a multiple part article that deals with a sci-fi movie. Spoiler Ahead !

Time-travelling has been a fascinating theme for aspiring screenwriters, attempting to depict how the world would look like in the future, how a minor event could endanger your existence. You can think of Terminator (1984), where a killing machine is sent to the past to kill the mother of the resistance leader. When it comes to time-travelling, you can think of the Delorean, the iconic car from Back to The Future Trilogy (1985 1989 1990).

TV Show like Quantum Leap (1989) also depicts time-travelling by encompassing the notion of the string theory, whereby a the traveler can only travel in time from the moment he was born until his death.

When it comes to literary, Future Times Three (1944) by René Barjavel, where young scientist jeopardizes his existence by altering the past.

In a nutshell, time travelling was the cash-cow for Hollywood filmmakers in the 80s, 90s and early 2000.


However, sometimes, you don’t need all these fancy multi-million movies, or lot of CGI to create a good time-travelling movie. Sometimes you all need is a crazy scientist, a sexy woman alone in the forest riding a bicycle and a lazy everyday man. The Spanish director/writer Nacho Vigalondo and Karra Elejalde star in this wickedly dense serio-comedy Timecrimes.

In this multi-part article, I will start the first part with the storyline of Timecrimes. (WARNING SPOILER AHEAD) Continue reading “Timecrimes (2007): A Trip to The Past From The Present to…(Part 1)”